Hi Noelle. I’m here for your What If Challenge Review.
First, I would say you nailed every character in the opening scene. Hermione the always logical thinker and rule follower wants to check with Professor Snape once more-very Hermione and what an impact it has on the story! Harry, too, was quite in character from his interruptions “What do you mean if Sirius is there,” to his hotheaded emotional decision making. “Now you’re stalling because you’re a coward and if Sirius dies, it will be your fault.”--ouch! Trust the Weasley’s tempers to match their hair and poor Neville, never one to make waves. Luna was perfect “staring off into space at something only she could see”; however, when it made to understanding the riddles (ie the revolving doors) Luna always comes up with the answer whether it be logical or illogical (in this case, of course, the former) Snape’s responses were also perfect. Of course Potter is self-aggrandizing, but despite his loathing of the book, he’ll still protect him with his life.
I was quite shocked that Harry stunned Hermione to keep her from informing Snape and the fact no one questioned him on it. . . . I wonder if he would really go that far and how it will impact Harry and Hermione’s friendship for books 6 and 7.
The duel between Snape and Bella was well done. I’m always amazed by his strength, after several rounds of Cruciatus, Snape still managed to send of a killing curse. Bella was awesome (and I mean that in the scariest way.) Declaring her allegiance to the Dark Lord as she duels and then approaching Baby Potter. Even the way you made each word a separate sentence to emphasize. “Your. Turn.” showed her diabolical instability.
The ending scene with Sirius. Honestly, I just wanted to scratch the man’s eyes out and your lack of love for the dog was showing. The man DIED to save Sirius’s godson and he just brushes it off suggesting that Harry get something to eat. HELLO! After your death, Harry destroyed the Headmaster’s office, screaming and crying all at once.
I should honestly take points off when using my rubric just because YOU KILLED SEVERUS, but then it does open up a door of I wonder and what if questions. I wonder how Severus’s death would impact Harry compared to Sirius. What about when he gets ahold of the Half Blood Prince book (because there is no doubt in this AU, Slughorn will be returning) and if he realizes who the previous owner is, how will he handle it? Will he still use Sectumsempra on a distraught Draco Malfoy? Would there be anyone there to save the boy? How will that impact the psyche of the Boy-Who-Lived? With the ending you created, I wonder how Sirius’s reaction (or really lack of reaction to Snape’s death) will impact his relationship with his Godfather.
This is exactly what I was looking for in this challenge. How might history change because of one quick decision by Hermione. I would love to see what Book 6 and 7 look liked in this AU.
Thank you for entering in the challenge. I’ll have the results up soon.
Thank you so much for this amazing review! I am so glad that you liked my characterization of the kids at the beginning of the story. I have never written most of them before, and I was a little nervous about it.
Writing Bellatrix was soooo fun. I hope to do more of it at some point. I am glad she came off the way I meant her to. Honestly, I'm not sure why JKR would write two such awesome characters as Bella and Snape and then not have them throwdown.
I apologize profusely for killing Severus. I didn't want to do it, and it made me very sad, but I couldn't see how else the scene would play out. Please forgive me :-)
I may have let my feeings about Sirius show too clearly at the end of the story....I did think it was nice of him to stop himself from calling Severus by his mean nickname though...maybe I was a bit harsh :-)
I love all your questions about what would happen next. Thank you so much for hosting this Challenge!
Hi, Noelle! I'm here with your requested review!
I think one of the most remarkable things about this piece is your characterization. Hermione, especially, I was very impressed with. She's proven before that she's willing to defy popularity in order to do what she feels is right (the Firebolt situation in POA, for example, or even SPEW), so her ignoring the wishes of her friends in order to alert Snape seems exactly like what she would do. Harry, too, was very well written; his tunnel-vision, determination, irritability, and slight arrogance were exactly in line with how he behaved in OOTP. Snape, too, was in-character; even when being heroic, he still had to be his sour, somewhat snarky self.
Luna staring off into space and smiling while Hermione and Harry were arguing made me giggle. I wouldn't have expected anything less of her!
While this was a short piece, I loved Harry's growth throughout it. He acknowledges his mistakes throughout this and, most importantly, learns from them. I hope that he accepts this enormous slice of humble pie and apologizes profusely to Hermione once they're reunited.
The action sequence at the end was very well done. I personally struggle with writing action, so I always admire when someone does it justice. Everything flowed nicely, and it was easy to envision everything that was going on. Actually, that really applies to this entire story when I think about it. This was an exceptionally easy read, and had a perfect balance of dialogue and description.
You mentioned in your request that this was written for the "What If?" Challenge. Of course, I'm not the host/judge of that particular challenge, but I do think you accomplished your goal with resounding success. There a handful of moments througout the series where I think, "what if xyz had happened instead?" This was never one of them for me, but nevertheless, I really liked your take on it. I never really thought about what could have happened has Snape actually show up at the Ministry, so I really enjoyed this unique perspective.
Excellent work! Thanks for stopping by my request thread!
Thank you so much for this review! I was a bit worried about my characterization of the kids at the beginning of this story, because I have never written any of them (except Luna, briefly) before. I am so delighted that they came off well! I was actually nervous about writing most of the story from Harry's POV, because I wasn't sure I could do it. I do think that Harry and Hermione would make up eventually, although he may have to grovel for a while, since he did stun her.
The action sequence was the part I thought of first, because I felt that two such powerful and kind of crazy characters like Bellatrix and Snape should have had a throwdown at some point. When I write action sequences, I usually imagine them like a movie in my mind and then write what I see. It is good to know that what I write communicates the action clearly.
Thank you again! I was nervous about this story and I'm so glad to have your feedback! :-)